Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Frances Lloyd named world's best junior female at world cup

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WORLD CLASS: Frances Lloyd back training in Tauranga after her outstanding performances at the world cup in Hungary. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
WORLD CLASS: Frances Lloyd back training in Tauranga after her outstanding performances at the world cup in Hungary. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

Frances Lloyd was hoping to put in a career-best performance at the 2016
ITK Taekwon-Do World Cup in Budapest, Hungary last week.

She was pleased to have won gold and silver medals but to be named the best female junior competitor in the world exceeded all her expectations.

The 16-year-old, who competed out of the Silla TKD Club in Te Puna, said it was a different feel this time to her previous world championship experience.

"I had done it before and I was a lot calmer in the way I prepared and how I got myself ready," Frances said.

"A lot of the other competitors I think looked up to me for a little bit of guidance of where they needed to be and how they needed to be feeling."

The accolade of best junior female competitor at the world cup was taking some time to sink in.

"I think I can relate a little bit. It's a lot more real now and I feel I am ready for anything now. I have put in the work and I know that I can do it.

"I have self-belief in myself now instead of thinking it was a fluke. I proved it was not a fluke to myself and to other people."

Frances won silver in the black belt sparring with her gold coming in the black bely specialty division.

"My favourite and main event is specialty. That is the art of jumping really high. So if you take high jump for example but you put a board in the air above it, you have to kick that while you are jumping."

All her focus was on the 2017 ITF World Championships to be held in Dublin, Ireland next October, where she would defend the world title she won two years ago.

Frances said her world cup triumph had been a major step forward to her achieving her ultimate goal of being crowned world champion in Dublin.

"I have so much more learning experience because you can't get that international feel anywhere else except a world cup or a world champs. It was really good to go over there and get that extra experience.

"The officials come from all over the world and I got to see my competition for Dublin, which is really good and I am excited about that competition.

"I'm not the new girl anymore. I am so set on my goal for Dublin now because I know what I need to do."

Frances was able to compete in Hungary thanks to a $10,000 scholarship she was awarded by AMP.

"Thank you so much AMP for what you have done for me," she said.

"If it wasn't for you I wouldn't have been able to go over there and prove myself and show the world a bit of Kiwi."

Frances had plenty of school work to catch up on at Tauranga Girls' College and had given herself three weeks off to rest and recover from Hungary.

"After that it is straight back into training for Dublin."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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